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he will be able to give you every particular;" and the man went to do so; but, returning from the inner door, added, “I beg your pardon, sir, won't you walk into the dining-room, it is so cold standing here.” Cheveley at first declined upon the plea of disturbing the family; but upon the footman's hospitably negativing the supposition by an assurance that there was nobody there, as “master was ill in bed, and missus was reading to him," the temptation of entering the house in which Julia had played as a child was too great to resist, and he followed the servant in silence into the dining-room, where the man placed a chair, stirred up the fire, lighted candles, and left him, while he went in quest of the butler. The room being hung with pictures, it was not to be supposed Cheveley would remain there without looking at them, for he felt that there was one of Julia's among them; so he took one of the candles and began to explore. The first that met his view was one of Lawrence's early beauties disfigured in a white muslin window-curtain, three inches of waist, shift sleeves looped up with a cord, the remainder of the white curtain rolled round the head, with the hair coming through, or, rather, tumbling out at the top, yellow pointed slippers, and a parasol (turned back, like those which have come into fashion again) lying on the grass. Such were the details of a picture, which, nevertheless, had one of those angel faces which only Lawrence could perpetuate, and which, from its strong likeness to Fanny Neville, Cheveley concluded to be her mother. Except Lady de Clifford's, he had never seen such exquis. itely beautiful hands and arms, those unmistakable quarterings of nature's heraldry; and who but Lawrence ever succeeded in infusing into canvass that pure patrician blood, that seems to flow like milk of roses through the delicately pencilled veins. He passed on, and soon came to another portrait by the same artist; but oh, how different! it was a portrait of Julia and Fanny, about the ages of twelve and sixteen, and ono of Lawrence's latest and happiest efforts; the composition of the picture, like that of all his later ones, was charming. Fanny was sitting beneath a large tree on à green knoll, with a quantity of wild flowers and reeds beside her. Julia was half lying at her feet, her elbow resting on her sister's knee, and her head thrown back as it rested on one hand; in the other was a book, in which she was evidently absorbed, while in her lap slept a beautiful but lazy little Blenheim. So intent did Julia seem upon what she was reading, that she did not appear to be aware of the Ophelia sort of decorations the mischievous Fanny was placing in her hair, or even the close vicinity of a portly velvet-looking bee, who no doubt mistook the lovely faces round which he was hovering for living flowers. In the background of the picture cattle were watering in a lake, while in the foreground were some deer, one of which stood with a fore-paw up, as though he every moment expected to hear the sunbeam that was darting into his scarcely less brilliant eyes: the whole picture had a sultry dreaminess about it, that made one almost fancy that one heard that low music of the summer air, the hum of insects. Opposite to this picture Cheveley stood transfixed, with a thousand conflicting and overwhelming feelings; but, with the infatuation of a genuine lover, the idea in his own mind was clearly defined, that the original, with an accumulation of years and sorrows (with a woman are they not synonymous ?) was ten times more beautiful now than she had been then, with the bloom and halo of youth and happiness around her. “Ah!" thought he, “had we bút met then or had we never met! Yet no, I would rather be the miserable, hopeless wretch I am, than never have known you."
So abstracted was he by this train of reflection, that the old butler had entered, cast a furtive glance at the sideboard to see whether any plate had by accident been left there, and hemmed twice without Lord Cheveley's hearing or perceiving him ; but a more than usual potation of port having rendered the worthy Mr. Clinton (a domestic fixture of more than thirty years) rather averse from unnecessary standing, he at length, after taking ocular dimensions of Cheveley from head to foot, and deciding in his own mind that he certainly was a gentleman, as the footman had reported, hemmed still louder, and boldly accosted him with, “I beg your pardon, sir, but I understood you wanted to know Lady de Clifford's address ?"
Not having heard Clinton's foot on the old Axminster carpet before he heard his voice, Cheveley was so startled that he nearly let the candle fall out of his hand; but, recovering his presence of mind, he said, “Oh, yes, I am sorry to have given you the trouble of coming."
“No trouble, sir," interrupted Clinton. ." But can you tell me where a parcel would find Lady de Clifford ?"
" The best place, sir, would be to leave it here or at my lord's house in Grosvenor-street; as, if sent abroad, it might miscarry, as they are at present on their way home.”
“Indeed!” said Cheveley; “I understood that Lady de Clifford was dangerously ill at Venice ?"
“ Her ladyship had been very ill there, sir,” replied Clinton, “but I am happy to say the last letters from Miss Neville were from Naples, and stated that my lady was sufficiently recovered to drive out, and that the family were to be in England by the end of January."
“ Thank God!" thought Cheveley; and a burning weight felt removed from his heart.
Seeing the change that came over Cheveley's face, the old butler could not help risking the question of, “ You know the ladies, then, sir ?"
“ Yes, I have that pleasure.”
66 You may well call it that, sir,” said the old man, wiping his eyes. “I have known them since they were born, and better or more amiable ladies never lived. As for her ladyship, she is a perfect angel, or she could not bear all she does, poor thing,” added he, with a deep sigh, for which Cheveley began to think he himself was bordering on the angelic tribe ; but having no farther excuse for prolonging his stay, he again thanked the old man and prepared to depart.
“Will you favour me with your name, sir?” said Clinton, with increased curiosity, as he followed him into the hall, “ that I may let the ladies know who was inquiring for them ?”
“Oh, it is of no consequence,” said Cheveley, hurrying to the door, “as they will be in England so soon. I will call again when they arrive."
“Humph! a lover of Miss Fanny's, no doubt," thought the old man, as he cast a last glance at the marquis's handsome face and distinguished figure; "and certainly she will get a better bargain than poor Miss Julia.”
Cheveley, on his return home, was too much excited to sleep, now that he had ascertained beyond a doubt that Julia was out of danger. His heart and his van. ity (I fear with the best men they are closely allied) were both satisfied at her having been ill, for he knew from experience that suffering is the only genuine ovation absence can offer to love!
“ To curtain her sleepy world. Yon gentle hills,
Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend,
P. B. SHELLBY.
Jette un rayon d'espoir sur mon pale avenir,
DE LA MARTINE. It is hard to say which is the most ridiculous, pretensions to talent without common capacity, or pretensions to beauty after time has long presented his trousseau of wrinkles and crowsfeet, having taken upon each a usurious per centage of bloom and dimples !"-, thought that often suggested itself to me when in London.
THERE can be no doubt that external objects and extraneous circumstances are the
“ Masters of passion, swayes it to the moode
Of what it likes or loathes :" therefore is it that love, being an imaginative passion, the rough and harsh realities of life, which require all our energies to meet and to wrestle with, invariably reduce it to a degree of subordination that changes it from a tyrant to a slave; whereas idleness is the cradle of love, luxury its nurse, and liberty its tutor; indulged and encouraged by these, it becomes almost insupportable as it surfeits on its own fantasies; for, as Chaucer hath it,
“ If love be searched well, and sought,
It is sickness of the thought.”
And this sickness it is which blights and mildews every other wholesome blessing by which we are surrounded ; making us feel, like Rasselas in the Happy Valley, that there is still an aching void, a something wanting, which vacuum all the surrounding beauty .and sunshine only renders the more apparent: and it was with this “ sickness of the thought” that Lord Cheveley was oppressed as he drove into his princely domain; the village bells ringing a merry peal, and bonfires gleaming from all the adjacent hills.
From the lodge to the house (a distance of about a mile and a half, through a wood) all the tenantry had assembled, and erected triumphal arches of evergreens and such flowers as the season afforded. Cold as the weather was, all the young girls being dressed in white and ranged on one side, gave a pretty and picturesque effect to the scene. Luckily for Cheveley, the shouts of the people were so deafening as they took the horses from the carriage, that it saved him the trouble of saying or doing anything but bowing right and left, with his hands pressed to his bosom; the more especially as the two gentlemen in the rumble condescendingly waved their hats, and gave cheer for cheer with the peasantry; while Mr. Sanford, in another post-chariot behind, went farther still, by not only bowing almost as affably as his master, but applying his white pockethandkerchief to his eyes every time he did so, and occasionally leaning his head pensively against a guncase that occupied the front of the carriage.
The house, or, rather, castle at Cheveley, was built in the time of Stephen, and closely resembled the castle of Old Sarum, except that it was larger ; but, like it, it was enclosed within; the same low, circular, turreted wall, the entrance to which was by a large, massy, black iron gate, studded with large spiked nails, except about a quarter of a yard square on one side, where was a cross-barred iron grate, like those of a prison or convent door; within this gate was a paved amphitheatre, in a mosaic of long bugle-shaped stones, leading lip to the castle; between every third turret of this low round wall, a cannon was placed ; and on the ground underneath each cannon, a pyramid of balls; from the centre of the wall on each side branched two immensely wide flights of flat stone steps, with stone balustrades, 80 wide and flat that two persons might with ease have